How To Make Your Own Lump Charcoal at Home?

Speaking of best, we are talking about the purest form of charcoal. Do you know which charcoal is known as the purest form of charcoal? If you do not know, I will tell you. Lump charcoal is one of the purest charcoal. In this guide, I cover the advantages of lump charcoal, and we will also tell you how to make it. 

Lump charcoal is natural charcoal that enhances the taste of your food. The formation of this natural charcoal offers two methods, direct and indirect method. Stop discussing the small tasks. Let’s move to the main section of this guide by continuing reading.

Material required

The first section will describe the primary tools used to make lump charcoal. Nothing is very fancy in this process. Just a few tools are needed for this purpose. 

Metal drum

For charcoal formation, it would be great to use a 55-gallon metal drum which is never used for any other purpose and is free of toxic chemicals. We would use this gallon as an oven, so if any impurity is present inside, it will contaminate our charcoal.

I prefer an unpainted drum. The paint will mix with charcoal and change its natural characteristics on heating. Do not purchase a new drum. Recycle any old ones but ensure no small contamination is present here.


Paint basket

Also, a 5-gallon steel paint basket is required, but it would be new and contain a lid. It must be unpainted. 

5 gallon steel paint basket

Dry firewood

You can choose any wood for this purpose that suits you. Make sure to maintain the size up to 2-4 inches in diameter while cutting and removing the bark. Uniformity of length is necessary. Keep cutting while the 55-gallon metal drum is not filled. On a rough estimate, you required 35 or 40 dry wood pieces to run the oven.  

Dry firewood edited scaled

Welding gloves

Safety risks are there. It does not mean that it is prepared manually in the home, so it is safe to use. No! Use welding gloves and long leather tongs to keep your hand safe.

How to make Lump Charcoal at home

When you learned to make charcoal at home, you would stop running behind the charcoal stocks. Let’s know the basic steps. 

  • Step 1: Dig a hole in your backyard according to the length of the drum.
  • Step 2: Create holes in the bottom of the drum before putting it in the backyard hole. 
  • Step 3: Now, fill your drum with dry wood.
  • Step 4: After filling the drum, carefully light it.
  • Step 5: Place a few planks of wood to keep the fire roaring.
  • Step 6: Place the metal lid on the drum.
  • Step 7: Put a small skinny branch on the wood over the lid to maintain the ventilation.
  • Step 8: Wait for the smoke to change its color from blue to white. It takes 2-3 hours.
  • Step-9: Skake the drum and seals its lid.
  • Step 10: Leave it for a few days.

Methods for making your charcoal

Two methods are there for making charcoal. 

Indirect method

In this method, you would not burn the wood. Here in this process, you must cook the food at medium flame for a few days to remove all its impurities. Then for burning, you use fuel for some things like that are used for burning. Indirect methods require huge fires like bonfires also due to high flame pollution.

Direct method

In this, you have to create a fire in the container that is not high. Burn the fire and wait until it reaches its modest level, then add wood to it. After adding wood, restrict the airflow. Once all wood is burnt, cut off the airflow and seal the container. Never create a massive fireball in this method because our requirement is a small fire to burn the wood. 

Choose different woods to make homemade charcoal.

In the above discussion, I gave you all the insights on making lump charcoal at home. However, it does not mean that lump charcoal is unavailable in the stock market. If you are not interested in creating a lump charcoal home, you can buy it. Before buying, consider the following things. 

Type of wood

The primary ingredient for making lump charcoal is wood, which you consider the first. Some stores offer charcoal that is in single wood type but some offers charcoal that comes in a mixture of different type of woods. 

Mixed wood charcoal usually offers an excellent delicate smell and flavor. The smoke, when entering the food, improves its taste. So to get such delicious food, go for mixed wood charcoal.  

common hardwoods

Size of pieces

Lump charcoal is usually available in irregular pieces, but its size varies because of different woods. It is essential to use different sizes of wood for the best results since some burn for a long time, and some burn quickly and produce a lot of smoke. Large amounts burn longer and create colossal roaring fires and temperatures.


Sparkles are the best indicator which tells that charcoal is burning too fast. Charcoal that burns fast obviously creates a lot of smoke which is harmful to food. Another thing that we can indicate through sparkles is that if there are too many sparkles, it means charcoal is of low quality. Before buying charcoal read the ingredients that are mentioned on the pack.

Difference between lump charcoal and briquettes charcoal

Usually, there is two common charcoal present which is used in a larger amount. Briquettes and lump charcoal. Several differences are there between these two types, including:

  • Briquettes burns slowly, it’s heat level is medium. While in the other hand, the heat temperatures of lump charcoal are high, and it burns quickly. 
  • Lump charcoal lightens quickly as compared to briquettes.
  • Briquettes produce more ash than lump charcoal.
  • Lump charcoal is natural and contains no additives. Therefore gives a natural taste. But briquettes have some additives which enter the food and change the taste. Also, these additives are harmful. 
  • On the other hand, briquettes are made from lighter softwood, while lump charcoal is made from hardwood.

Hardwoods that are used to make coals?

Lump charcoal offers maximum flexibility. But there are different woods with different flavors and other effects on the food. Here are different woods with various flavors that you may consider before preparing lump charcoal.


Apple fruit wood is the most common wood with a delicate flavor, and it is always available. While cooking fish, it produces sweet, soft smoke, enhancing the meal’s haste. 


Oak is famous for its strong smell over any dish you cook. And it is the main reason it is available less for lump charcoal. However, it is best to cook a meal that consumes a lot of time. 


Cherry fruitwood gives a sweet flavor among all flavor woods. But it can cook beef, chicken, pork, salmon, and lamb with a preferred smoky taste. 


To get a nutty taste in your food, use beech flavor wood. When you cook beef, chicken, and fish, it gives a musky scent. Lump charcoal made from beech wood is preferable to cook every meal. 


Birchwood is rarely used for making lump charcoal. It offers a light smoky smell for lamb, chicken, and salmon. But once you taste the flavor of this wood, you get addicted, and you will not resist this flavor.  


The most famous wood flavor in the US. The sugary smell makes all the food taste delicious. Not only meat, but you can also do experiments on vegetables and seafood, and you will not be disappointed. 

Lump charcoal used for what?

Lump charcoal is used for heating and lighting, and in big cities, it is used for making mouth-watering BBQ dishes. Moreover, another means of charcoal is cooked on air, which is why most people use briquettes, which are very inexpensive. 

Burnt coals produce lump charcoal. You have to burn the wood for some days to make lump charcoal. When you burn the wood for a few days, all the impurities are removed, and it becomes pure among all types of charcoal. 

Apart from this, purity is not just the characteristic of lump charcoal. It includes other factors, such as burning quickly but for longer. So, if you have no more stock, try to produce this lump charcoal home.


Final Words

If you want to achieve professional perfection in BBQ:

  1. Go for the selection of remarkable grills, the best charcoal, and good quality flavor woods.
  2. Never go for briquettes.
  3. Choose charcoal for grilling, and among all charcoal, lump charcoal is best due to its purity.

However, the formation of lump charcoal is not a complex process. Use different wood flavors with a different batch of lump charcoal.

You may also like:

Similar Posts